Friday, November 16, 2007

Ratatouille


Finally caught up with the movie, Ratatouille, at the cinema. We’d been going to see it in London, but missed the showing. However, it was on in Northampton, when we got there, so along with twenty other people we went to see it.

I think my only criticism of it is that it isn’t particularly funny – certainly not laugh-out-loud funny. It’s entertaining, and the storyline is fine, and there’s quite a bit of subtle humour, but you never kind of get caught up in a great laugh at any time.

That aside, the animation is brilliant, and the story takes a rather strange idea and manages to deal with its problems successfully. A rat who’s a self-taught cook? And who’s ability in the kitchen surpasses most other cooks? Okay. It’s totally improbable, but you manage to suspend belief and let it happen.

Overall, though, the thing that impressed was the technical excellence of the movie. The characters are wonderfully drawn, even those who exist primarily as caricatures. The backgrounds have a depth and warmth not always seen in modern animation, and the cast voicing the characters are top notch too.

I missed seeing most of the actors’ names when the credits were rolling, and didn’t realise Peter O’Toole had played the nasty food critic, Anton Ego. Janeane Garofalo, an actress I enjoy seeing in movies (but haven’t very often) played the only female cook in the kitchen, and someone called Patton Oswalt was the main character, Remy. I don’t know Oswalt’s name but he’s obviously done a lot of voicing for tv. Lou Romano, who plays the boy who pretends he’s a cook, is another actor who’s known more as a vocal artist than one who’s ‘seen.’ The gyrations his character goes through in the movie probably provide the biggest laughs.

I’d like to get a copy of the movie on DVD in due course: it’s one that would repay watching again, I think, to catch up with the details.

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